In the USA, the Men's Health Network (MHN) have welcomed the creation of a special unit to deal with the health of 'American Indian and Alaska Native men'.
'The creation of the Office of Indian Men's Health to complement the existing Office of Indian Women's Health within the Indian Health Service is a momentous achievement and important step toward improving the health of American Indian men and their loved ones,' said Scott T. Williams, vice president of the MHN. The initiative was included in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA).
American Indian/Alaska Natives suffer from alarming health disparities in health behaviours, chronic disease and mortality rates. For example, they are twice as likely to have diabetes as Caucasians and more likely to smoke and to be obese than their white, African American and Asian counterparts.
Congressman Tim Murphy who is co-chair of the Congressional Men's Health Caucus said: 'The Office of Indian Men's Health will raise awareness about male health issues in the Native American community, and ways to prevent and detect men's health problems. The result will be more men getting the treatment needed and lives will be saved. For too long the health needs of all men have gone unaddressed. This Office is a step towards men's health taking its rightful place in our federal government's healthcare priorities.'
Scott T Williams concluded: 'It's an exciting time for American Indian and Alaskan Native men as well as all men and their families nationwide. We look forward to the day when there will be an Office of Men's Health at each of the federal agencies addressing the health of American families.'